Richard Van Evera Doud, Jr. passed away on December 9 due to complications from Parkinson’s disease. He is survived by his wife Frances, daughters Sarah (George) MacMillan and the Reverend Laura (Wilson) Cochran and son Christian (Catherine) Doud, step-sister Michele (Neil) Sullivan, five grandchildren and countless beloved friends. Preceding him in death are his parents, Lieutenant Colonel Richard Van Evera Doud Sr. and Nell Pennington Doud, who are interred together at Arlington Cemetery; and his stepmother Cecile B. Doud.
Doud served as President of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce for 23 years before retiring in May 2014. Among his many accomplishments are the creation of the Arlington Business Hall of Fame (he was inducted in 2017) and the Community Action Committee. He established Leadership Arlington, now known as Leadership Center for Excellence, and was a member of its inaugural class in 1999. He assisted with the publishing of Where Valor Rests, a book about Arlington Cemetery which is given at burials to the families of fallen soldiers; and later Children of Valor, which is given to the children of soldiers buried at Arlington Cemetery.
During his tenure, Doud received several honors including Chamber Executive of the Year, Virginia Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives; Outstanding Civilian Service Medal (twice), United States Army; Legacy Award, Leadership Arlington; Spirit of Community Award, Arlington Community Foundation; and more.
A native of San Antonio, Texas, Doud moved to Arlington in 5th grade and graduated from Washington-Lee High School in 1961. He graduated from Davidson College in 1965 and took a job at National Cash Register Corporation. In 1969, Doud married Frances Stutz, a teacher and school administrator with whom he raised three children. He has said, “When I married Frannie, I won the lottery.”
With entrepreneurial foresight, Doud left NCR to launch Computerland franchises, growing his business to own three retail stores in the Washington, DC area. At one time, his Bethesda retail location was the largest in the world. In 1984, his company was ranked 35th in the nation on Inc. magazine’s annual list of the 500 fastest growing companies in the United States. After selling his interest in Computerland, Doud launched a series of entrepreneurial ventures financing business and equipment systems. He joined the Arlington Chamber in 1990.
A resident of Arlington for more than 65 years, Doud immersed himself into and became a prominent figure within the community. He was a founder and member of the Board of Regents of Leadership Arlington; member of the Arlington County Economic Development Commission; member of the County Manager’s Institutional Leaders Roundtable; chair of the Black Heritage Museum; member of the Police Chief’s Advisory Council; and as a member of the Washington Business Journal’s Thought Leadership Panel. He never hesitated to roll up his sleeves, whether he was painting a home through Rebuilding Together or serving breakfast at So Others Might Eat (S.O.M.E.) in northwest Washington, DC. For Rich, every day was a “great day to be in Arlington.”
Doud’s family were founding members of the Overlee Community Pool Association, where Doud later chaired the Board. He served as the Overlee Swim Team’s chief timer for many years, faithfully supporting the Orange Crush on Saturday mornings each summer. A sports enthusiast, he was a lifelong Washington Football Team (Redskins) season ticket holder and devoted fan of the Nats, Caps and his beloved Davidson Wildcats.
Rich embodied his faith in ways that drew others to him and to the communities he served. At St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, he served as a Children’s Chapel leader, Vestry member and usher, among other roles.
Rich and his wife Fran organized St. Peter’s annual parish family retreat at Claggett Diocesan Center, where he was an original member of the Flying Raviolis and loved playing guitar during campfire worship services. He had a quick wit, a generous spirit and gentle humility that endeared him to others. He was as authentic and comfortable in the boardroom with new Chamber members as he was at the beach with old friends – and he treated them equally. Rich’s life will be remembered as one of service, faith and selfless devotion to his family and friends.
Funeral services will be held at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Arlington on Friday, December 17 at 11:00 a.m., followed by a committal of ashes in St. Peter’s Memorial Garden. Due to COVID-related precautions, seating will be very limited and masks will be required. To watch the livestream on Friday, visit https://www.saint-peters.org/. The livestream will begin approximately five minutes prior to the service. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Rich Doud Arlington Chamber of Commerce Scholarship Fund or St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 4250 N. Glebe Road, Arlington, Virginia, 22207.
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.murphy-funeralhomes.com for the Doud family.